Matt Mullenweg

Jay Z + Me

I think it was Dustin Curtis who said something along the lines of “you can learn a lot about someone by their bucket list,” and he had posted his publicly recently. (Posting it is a great idea by the way, people will help you with it.) I began to think about mine, which was a little strange because I’ve been trying to move away from desiring things or experiences and just be more grateful in the present, but immediately a few music ones came to mind: have WordPress name-checked in a major hip-hop song, be in a rap video, and perform with one of my favorite artists (somehow).

It was less than a week later I got an email from a friend who was helping organize a hush-hush event where Jay-Z would sing his song Picasso Baby over and over 6 hours while interacting with various artists and an audience as a performance piece, and there might even be an opportunity to be one of the people he interacted with. My jaw dropped.

The entire experience was fairly surreal, this article by Jerry Saltz captured it well, and in the end I did get to “perform” (in a very loose performance art sense) directly with Jay (we’re on a first syllable basis now), which was even caught in a photo. An hour into the event I couldn’t find any trace of it on Twitter or blogs. I brought my Nikon D3S to the event and snapped a few photos, some of which of his performance with Marina Abramovic turned out really well. If I could do it again the only thing I’d do differently is try and get portraits of more of the amazing artists who were there, from Andres Serrano to Elizabeth Peyton. Also huge thanks and kudos to Yvonne Force Villerael and Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn for putting together such an unique happening.

Here’s a video Shannon Lanier took when we went up together:

Here are some of the photos from the event:

Update: The video made from this is now online: